Four years of Spain's tiki-taka passing and possession heavy domination has left many football fans (excluding all Spain supporters, of course) bored with the foregone conclusion that is their success. But while spectators and opponents often forget that a bit of egalitarian belief and discipline can, at times, get a result against Spain (see: the U.S. in 2009 and Switzerland in 2010), there are easier ways to break the soul-crushing machine that Spain has become. Here are a few ideas...
-Electric collars: When basketball wanted to kill the trend of possession heavy and boredom inducing games, they introduced the 24-second shot clock that was credited with rescuing the NBA. Well, that's already been done and a piddly countdown wouldn't be enough to instill a sense of urgency in Spain at this point anyway. Instead, each player for Spain should wear an electrified collar and whenever its possession in a given match hits 65 percent, every one of them would be shocked into a quivering heap so the other team can have a go. As a fun bonus idea, Sergio Busquets would be given a plain collar and fans can point and laugh when he goes down with the rest of his teammates as they're being zapped, convulsing more than all of them for no reason whatsoever.
-Make them play all matches in drought-stricken areas: The one match where Spain didn't get an ideal result at Euro 2012 so far was its group stage opening 1-1 draw against Italy in which several members of the Spanish side complained about the dry pitch after the match. So, deny them their precious pitch water and watch as Xavi goes to the futile effort of trying to nourish the playing surface with sports drinks. Your electrolytes will be useless.
-Force them to use at least one freaking striker at all times: Seriously, Fernando Llorente must have the self-esteem of a turtle at a nightclub at this point.
-Name Jose Mourinho the team's new manager: Current Spain manager Vicente del Bosque and his fluffy mustache are a calming influence for his team. But with Mourinho at the helm, the simmering bitterness among the team predominantly comprised of Barcelona and Real Madrid players would surely boil over. It's difficult to control a match when the manager is encouraging Sergio Ramos to hit Gerard Pique with a folding chair.
-Get them angry: It's easy to play out your master plan like robots when your opponents park the bus, hide under the seats and hope you don't hurt them too bad, but it's far more fun for all parties involved when a bit of angst is thrown into the equation. Before every match, invite Zlatan Ibrahimovic into Spain's dressing room and have him look each of them in the eye, one by one, and tell them that he is infinitely better than they are at everything. Including baking, teeth brushing and sandwich making. He can also charges each of their credit cards for 10 copies of his autobiography, I am Zlatan, for added rage-inducement.
-Mario Balotelli: Put Mario Balotelli on the team.
-Laxatives: As a number of fine comedy films have shown in the past, laxatives make everything more exciting. One shot for every player before a match and Spain will be playing with a refreshing sense of urgency. Granted, they might be slower to come out of the dressing room after halftime, but that could force some early substitutes and might actually give Fernando Llorente a chance to play.